HomeTop StoriesThe appeals court blocked Texas' immigration law shortly after the Supreme Court's...

The appeals court blocked Texas’ immigration law shortly after the Supreme Court’s action

A federal appeals court ordered a controversial new immigration law in Texas to be put on hold Tuesday night, just hours after the Supreme Court said it could go into effect.

A three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals split 2-1 and said in a brief order that the measure, known as SB4, should be blocked. The same court will hear arguments on the issue on Wednesday morning.

The state law would allow police to arrest migrants who illegally cross the border from Mexico and impose criminal penalties. It would also give state judges the power to order people deported to Mexico.

migrants carrying water cross children (Herika Martinez / AFP - Getty Images)

migrants carrying water cross children (Herika Martinez / AFP – Getty Images)

The Supreme Court’s order raised concerns among immigrant rights activists amid confusion on the ground over whether the law could be immediately enforced.

The appeals court appeared to have taken the hint from the Supreme Court, which in rejecting an emergency application filed by the Biden administration placed the onus on the appeals court to act quickly.

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“If a decision is not made soon, the petitioners may return to this court,” conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote in a separate opinion, joined by fellow conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

At the appeals court, judges Priscilla Richman and Irma Carillo Ramirez voted to block the law. Judge Andrew Oldham voted for it to remain in place while the court considers whether to block it.

Richman and Oldham have both been appointed, while Ramirez was appointed by President Joe Biden.

The Biden administration has argued that the law violates federal immigration law and that states have no authority to legislate in this area.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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